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watercolor love: its a bird!

Another wonderful afternoon painting with my friend Kristine! This time it was my turn to decide what we would paint. I'd been surfing the web for more information about watercolor painting techniques and I thought the layering technique would be interesting.
We decided to try an easy tutorial on how to paint a bird, at Carla Sonheim's blog, using the layering technique. The layering is like "mixing" paint, only it's painting one color over another directly on the paper, without mixing the paint in the palette first.

As you might be able to tell, after seeing Carla's  tutorial, I didn't copy her style at all. I painted a traditional bird, following along with each technical step as instructed. It was lots of fun, but I noticed myself getting caught up in the details, and I didn't want to do that. I want my painting style to "flow" which is what attracts me to watercolors in the first place!

Once I finished the bird we consulted on what to do for a background. Kristine found a cool effect on the net, that I'll call the "blow until your dizzy" technique (because that's exactly how I felt). I loaded up my brush with watery paint and placed it along the side of the bird and blew like mad at the paint puddle to push the paint away from the bird and create the spatter drip effects. Kristine was a pro at this.

I had a great deal of difficulty, and in fact felt dizzy and the paint hadn't even moved! Kristine asked if I had wet the paper FIRST before putting the puddle down and blowing. Nooo, I didn't do that... you might be able to see my struggles with the paint, specially the right side of the paper above. By wetting the paper first the paint had a place to move to and wouldn't just sit on the dry paper. Also, I think it helps to blow very quick and sharp, directly and closely at the puddle. But I'm still experimenting and learning, so don't take my word for it!

I went over the bird and branches with ink pen, to continue practicing what I learned from my last lesson! Painting the bird was such a fun experiment and kept us busy ALL afternoon long! Not only that, the benefit of an afternoon of creatively using my brain spilled into the next day and inspired me to create several pieces of bead jewelry for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party Challenge coming up soon!


  1. Love your little birdie! It makes me want to do some painting too!

  2. Love your bird, you are getting very good!

  3. Thank you both for your encouragement! I promised myself I would post whatever I painted...regardless of the results. :-) I am truly enjoying the exploration of watercolors and what's behind the art that has me so inspired for many years.


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